Why we love Ann Curry.
Fifty-five-year-old Ann Curry, recently separated from her anchor seat at the Today show, had an awkward on-camera moment with former co-host Matt Lauer. It was Olympic coverage, and Curry's reserved, non-compliant, honest performance was, in my opinion, stellar.
Clearly, there's no love lost between Curry and Lauer. Yet, there's this tacit expectation - especially in show business - that everyone must act nice - no, not merely nice, but like long lost friends - kidney-donating-caliber best friends forever, with bone-crushing hugs, dual-cheek kisses and smiles wide enough to crack your face - even if everyone hates each other's guts.
Good sportsmanship is one thing, but people who have been slighted insulted or disrespected have no obligation to turn on the charm on camera. When they do, it makes me cringe. When they don't, I applaud them.
So when Matt tried to jolly it up and kick start some buddy banter, Ann did not play along. She just did her job - professionally, as always - and exited. Compounding this was Ann's appearance, replete with un-tinted gray hair at her temples, which some found unsettling. Nobody seems unsettled by Matt's nearly bald head and gray hair. Why should Ann's few silver threads be a problem?
She also wore little makeup - and still looked great. More props to Ann for not opting for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Frankenface. Some criticized her apparel, which was kind of casual and not at all glam. So what? Matt wore no necktie and no socks, and nobody cared.
So no matter what the sociologists say, there is and will always will be a double standard for men and women regarding appearance. Matt Lauer is 54 and looks every day of it - Ann Curry looks markedly more youthful at the same age. But, nobody's replacing Matt with some 26-year- old stud with a six-pack and rock start hair, are they?
Lyrics from an idiotic 1970's cigarette jingle, heralding the dawn of the women's movement, spawned a catch phrase that hung on for years - "You've come a long way, baby." Maybe it wasn't so idiotic - it does say "baby," not "lady."